When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Turkey

Izmir, The Hub Of Turkey's Migrant Smuggling Ring

A vacation destination in western Turkey is now at the center of the human trafficking of Syrian refugees and other migrants trying to make the perilous sea journey to Europe.

In Izmir, where life jackets have replaced bikinis and pareos
In Izmir, where life jackets have replaced bikinis and pareos
Marine Vlahovic

IZMIR — A gold watch on his wrist, rings on his fingers and a rosary in his hand, "Haji the wise" meets us in a traditional Turkish restaurant in Izmir. It is a two-hour drive from this renowned vacation destination in western Turkey to the beaches where hundreds of refugees board every evening in an attempt to reach European shores.

These are also the beaches where dead bodies are washed up. "There's been a lot of work today and it'll be the same thing tomorrow," says Haji, one of the smugglers cashing in on the wave of would-be immigrants. "There are so many of them who want to leave."

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ